The influence of phoneme awareness on word-level reading is well established, but the reciprocal influence of orthography on phoneme awareness is less well understood. Orthographic influences could act longitudinally at the letter-level (learning letters stimulates an awareness of phonemes by making the sounds in words explicit), or word-level (learning to read words leads to phonemically organized phonological representations). We tested 707 children at three time points across the first two years of school. Structural equation models showed that phoneme awareness predicted letter-sound, and letter knowledge predicted phoneme awareness from the beginning to the end of the first year. In contrast, while phoneme awareness predicted word reading, word reading did not predict phoneme awareness in the second year. Therefore, there appears to be an early reciprocal relationship between letter-sound knowledge and phoneme awareness, but this reciprocity does not extend to the second year of school once children have progressed from learning letters to reading whole words. In conclusion, we suggest that learning letters precipitates early phoneme deletion ability, but that once children have acquired the alphabetic principle, further gains in orthographic knowledge do not appear to be causally related to the development of phoneme awareness.
|Publication status||Published - 21 Jul 2015|
|Event||Child Language Symposium - Warwick, UK, Coventry, United Kingdom|
Duration: 20 Jul 2015 → 21 Jul 2015
|Conference||Child Language Symposium|
|Period||20/07/15 → 21/07/15|
Cunningham, A., & Shapiro, L. R. (2015). Learning to read does not predict growth in phonological awareness: A study of letter-knowledge, reading, and manipulation of phonemes in nonwords. Paper presented at Child Language Symposium, Coventry, United Kingdom.